“If you’ve got worries, then you’re like me . . .” These are the opening lines of Worries, the rare piano-based track from Langhorne Slim’s self-titled full-length. Worries is a little more twee and a little more sentimental than every other cut on the record, but that opening couplet pretty much sums up his appeal: Langhorne is an everyman. A singer-songwriter who manages to express deep emotion about love, loss, and being human in a way that is instantly relatable. His songs make the listener want to have him over for drinks, and just chill for a while. Maybe sing along to, Collette, a beautiful love song, simple and eloquent, gentle and tender (“Collette, I knew the second we met, you’d go to my head”) . . . Until the second half, where it becomes an exuberant romp, complete with accordion.
Yes, it would be far from the truth to suggest that every song is mellow. Tipping Point, about the state of the U.S. today (“We are not what we own!/Trade your clothing for a sword!”, is a rockabilly parade of horribles; spinning Compassâ€ is raucous enough to be a sea chantey . . . If you need to pigeonhole this New Yorker into a particular genre, I suppose we’d have to go with neo-folk, but it’s got heavy country, blues, and alt-country influences as well. It’s folk in the way that Bob Dylan is folk, only much more light-hearted. This isn’t LS’s first LP, but it should be. It’s a perfect introduction to a great songwriter, and an essential album for 2008.